This comprehensive introduction to Paul by a leading European scholar, proceeding on the basis of the rootedness of the apostle’s letters in particular concrete circumstances, carefully lays out what can be known of those circumstances on the basis of the available evidence. It then interprets the letters in light of their life setting en route to a comprehensive and coherent description of Paul’s theology. Now available in a lucid translation by a respected American scholar who has adapted the bibliographical documentation for English-speaking students, Schnelle’s introduction is sure to become a leading textbook for graduate students and seminarians and a major point of reference for their professors.
The Logos Bible Software edition of this volume is designed to encourage and stimulate your study and understanding of Scripture. Biblical passages link directly to your English translations and original-language texts, and important theological concepts link to dictionaries, encyclopedias, and a wealth of other resources in your digital library. In addition, you can perform powerful searches by topic and find what other authors, scholars, and theologians have to say about the Word of God.
Among recent studies of Paul’s life and thought, Schnelle’s deserves to be ranked not only as one of the most comprehensive but also as one of the most compelling. With methodological clarity and exegetical skill, he demonstrates that the apostle’s theology has to be understood in relation to his ministry and that this requires an examination of his letters individually, in the light of their respective historical, situational, and cultural contexts. Schnelle’s exposition of the basic structures and overarching themes of Paul’s theology is the more credible for being so carefully grounded and is an outstanding contribution to the ongoing discussion of this critical topic.
—Victor Paul Furnish, University Distinguished Emeritus Professor of New Testament, Southern Methodist University
Finding the way into the complexities of international research on St. Paul’s life, letters, and theology is far from easy. Professor Schnelle’s richly documented and well-argued work, now in English, provides a very useful guide. It is to be recommended as indispensable to serious students in seminary, master’s, and doctoral programs, not to forget us teachers who need to stay ahead of the best among the next generation.
—Hans Dieter Betz, Shailer Mathews Emeritus Professor of New Testament, University of Chicago
Udo Schnelle has established himself as one of Europe’s most accomplished and eloquent biblical interpreters. Much of his work to this point has concentrated on the Johannine literature, but now he turns his exceptional abilities to an interpretation of the Pauline literature. The translation of this massive and comprehensive study of Pauline theology from its original German was done by Eugene Boring, a fine American scholar in his own right, and we own him a debt of gratitude for this labor of love. . . . The clarity and competence of Schnelle’s portrayal of Paul make this a most valuable resource.
A comprehensive introduction. . . . Schnelle’s work wisely exhibits discipline and restraint, lest innovation and speculation move us too far away from terra firma.
—Biblical Archaeology Review
[Schnelle] has produced an amazingly comprehensive book on the apostle, in which he sets the treatment of the seven undisputed letters in the context of Paul’s life and ministry, and then sketches thoroughly Paul’s theology. I do not know when in recent years a scholar has grappled with the history behind Paul’s life and produced as coherent a statement of Paul’s thought as it arises out of the circumstances of his ministry. This massive book will no doubt be read primarily by scholars and graduate students and perhaps serve as a textbook or resource for others. Eugene Boring ably translates the book and adapts the bibliographical documentation for English-speaking readers. . . . Schnelle’s work represents an important milestone in Pauline studies. It will be a major conversation-partner for scholars for a long time to come.
Udo Schnelle is a professor of New Testament at the University of Halle in Germany. He is the author of numerous works, including Theology of the New Testament, translated by M. Eugene Boring.